First, I want to thank you all for making the release of PLAY DATES so great. I have the best readers in the world!
Second, I want to wish all my Canadian friends a very happy Thanksgiving! I am so very thankful for you. And, I’d totally make you a plate of buttered toast, pretzels, jelly beans, and popcorn…basically my dream Thanksgiving dinner. Peppermint Patty was crazy to complain!
Third, I have a milestone to share. This week, I will celebrate a year of daily meditation. Despite my use of the Om (It Is, Will Be, or To Become) in this post’s title, I don’t chant when I meditate – at least not verbally. But, I have found that a quick 10 minute time out has made a huge difference in my life.
And believe me, I was a skeptic.
Though I always enjoyed the quiet time at the end of the yoga class, I’ve always viewed meditation as something too mystical – or worse, granola-y – for me to take seriously. But this time last year, I was stuck in a job I despised, feeling anxious about my writing, and generally tense and miserable. In other words, I was desperate.
I read an article that mentioned Calm.com and their free phone app. The article mentioned how grounded the program was in using meditation as a means to improve everyday life, not some far-fetched spiritual journey. I decided to give it a shot, and here’s what I discovered:
One breath, in and out. I could handle that. And all I had to do was concentrate on taking each breath as it came. By learning to do that, I learned to tackle my worries and stressors one at a time.
- I left that miserable job for one that pays far less, and I don’t regret it one bit.
- I spent time examining the motivation behind my writing and exploring the core themes of the stories I want to tell.
- I discovered that no matter how busy I am, a 10-15 minute post-dinner puppy snuggle makes even the worst day a thousand times better.
- And, I realized that there is absolutely nothing selfish or wrong about taking a few minutes out of the day to focus on myself and my state of mind.
I think the best we can do is to try to tune out the noise around us for a few minutes and focus inward. And when I do, I ask myself these questions:
- Have I done everything I can do to make a difference?
- Was I kind to someone today? Helpful? Accepting?
- Did I make someone smile?
- Did I ask for any help I might need?
Now, you may think the last one doesn’t fit, but I’d argue it absolutely does. I believe that we all want to contribute, even if it’s in the completion of a simple task. By asking for help, you are giving someone the opportunity to answer those first three questions affirmatively. So ultimately, by asking you are giving.
So, go into the world, give of yourselves and accept help from others. And, at the end of the day, remember to give yourself a break. We’re all going about this the same way – one breath in, one breath out.
Disclaimer: This may not work for everyone. Meditation makes Sally anxious.